FEATURING: Morgan Buckert, James Gullion, Clair Kehrberg, Natalie Teichert
Roundtable discussion with contemporary gearmakers Morgan Buckert (boots), James Gullion (bits & spurs), Clair Kehrberg (leatherworking), and Natalie Teichert (boots). Listen in as they talk shop, talk trends, and talk tradition. And whatever other topics arise!
Hosted by Ian Hallagan.
From the "Big Skies, New Visions" event during the 2022 Wild Ride.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Morgan Buckert, proprietor of Morgan Buckert Custom Boots, builds custom cowboy boots with bespoke patterns, traditional construction techniques, and vintage machinery in Hailey, Idaho. She is 7th generation of a Texan ranch family and the influence of cowboy culture is evident in all her work. Hailing from Goliad, Texas, Morgan was born in 1983, and has degrees from The University of Texas at Austin and The University of New Mexico. Morgan studied footwear at Penland School of Crafts and apprenticed with a master cowboy boot maker in Idaho. Morgan says, “many people describe our work as dying arts, but we want to show the world that not only are our arts not dying, but they are revitalized as a new generation commits ourselves to carry on and build upon the work of those who came before us.”
Jeffrey City, WY
James Gullion has spent many years cowboying around Wyoming and Montana. He has always been fascinated with bits and how people use them. He studies the spade bit tradition and uses them on his horses. Allen Taylor helped him get started making bits, sharing patterns and engraving tips, and James also learned from Ernie Marsh in a mentorship program through the Wyoming Arts Council. In 2015, James took the big step to become a full time silversmith and a part time cowboy.
John Day, OR
Clair Kehrberg began her leatherworking journey in high school under the tutelage of local saddlemaker, Tom Berry. Upon graduation from high school, she earned an associates degree in saddlemaking at Spokane Falls Community College with Verlane Desgrange as the instructor. She spent a short time as an apprentice with Randy Severe at Severe Bros Saddlery in Pendleton Oregon. In 2007, Clair received a scholarship from the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association to study with world renowned saddlemaker Dale Harwood. Clair has operated her own leather arts business since 2004 where she has made everything from custom western saddles to key chains and just about everything in between! She has won numerous leather tooling and handbag making competitions. These days Clair spends as much time as possible with her little girl and makes leather goods when she can. Collectors quality handbags are the focus of her creative endeavors.
Natalie Teichert of Teichert Custom Boots grew up in Southeast Idaho, one generation removed from an agricultural lifestyle. Both sets of her grandparents farmed, but her parents gave her more of a suburban upbringing. That changed when she married a cowboy, which introduced her to the whole western world. Seth learned leather work from another ranch hand in Ruby Valley, and that led him to pursue bootmaking right as the two got married. Over the years, it has been a natural progression for Natalie to become more involved as their children grew older, and she began contributing more to each pair of boots that went out the door. In 2018, the couple participated in the traditional arts apprenticeship program with Idaho Commission on the Arts, with Seth as master and Natalie as apprentice. This allowed them to dedicate time and materials for in-depth learning, and since then Teichert Boots has been a definite two-person team. Natalie, along with fellow bookmaker Morgan Buckert, takes part in an organization that encourages women gearmakers, the Women's Western Arts Association. Natalie says, "It’s always rewarding to see boots that I’ve made being used. It’s great to see them at a bull sale or a branding. We know that cowboys don’t generally make a lot of money, so knowing that they are willing to invest in a pair of our boots is gratifying. They are choosing to customize a tool that they use for work, and make them not only more durable, but are personalizing them. It’s a real privilege to make boots for anyone who values them."
Filmed in front of a live audience at the Western Folklife Center's G Three Bar Theater in Elko, NV, on Apr. 2, 2022.
Made possible by the NV Energy Foundation, Nevada Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Nevada Humanities, National Endowment for the Humanities, and by the multitude of staff, artists, volunteers, and community members working behind the scenes to make this show happen.
Brought to you by the Western Folklife Center, using story and cultural expression to connect the American West to the world.